Adblock Plus Comes to Android & Frustrates

Ads on Android usually aren’t nearly as annoying as on desktop web browsers, but they often seem worse because with Firefox, Opera, and other browsers you can usually find plug-ins to block the ads.

Today that changes. Adblock Plus is one of the better filtering plug-ins for Firefox and Opera, so when I read today that it was finally available as an Android app I was initially thrilled.

I am an inveterate reader, and one of the things that bugs me the most while reading on Android are the adverts which a lot of blogs have in their RSS feeds. I cannot see those adverts when reading in Google Reader in Firefox, but I do get to see all the ads when using the gReader app. It’s irritating, so much so that I don’t use the app nearly as much as I might.

Thanks to the new Adblock Plus app, most of the annoying ads have gone away. But the filtering comes at a price.

I’ve been testing the app on my Kindle Fire HD this evening, and sadly the mobile version doesn’t live up to the standards set by standard set by the plug-ins. Running it as a background app does in fact reduce the adverts, but it also slows down any app or web browser which is being filtered. It also crashed a couple times this evening.

But this app does work, to some degree. It will even work on older Android devices, as well as on unrooted devices, though not all features and functions are supported. for example, if you want it to block ads while you browse over 3g you will need to root your device. And if you want to run this app on Honeycomb or earlier then you’ll need to learn how to set a proxy server.

As I said in the title, this app is frustrating. But it does work.

The app has been posted to Google Play and there’s a direct download here.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Popup27 November, 2012

    Have you tried ‘AdFree Android’

    It works in a much simpler way, basically by patching the ‘/etc/hosts’. That means that it needs root access, but it only does it once, and then you’re safe from (many) annoying adds. (Depending on your settings, however, they might be replaced by ugly ‘chrome couldn’t find the page’ error messages. Annoying, but less so than actual adds.)

  2. Magica27 November, 2012

    There is another app that I use; ‘adaway’ ). This app requires root acces, but combines hosts files from different sources, and merges it into one hosts file (/etc/hosts for android). I have not noticed any significant lag so far.

    This hosts file also works for Linux/Ubuntu (/etc/hosts) and Windows (C:windowssystem32driversetchosts)

  3. Vicky14 March, 2013

    Hi there,

    I just wanted to quickly let you know that Google has removed the popular Adblock Plus app from Google Play:
    Apparently, Google is now openly prioritizing revenues over the freedom of choice for the users.
    If you have any questions, feel free to contact Till at [email protected]



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